Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone
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Travel Blogs from Athlone
... sense of ease & peace at this location and that people's passing over was celebrated as much as their life was.
Our next location of connection was at the Hill of Tara where the destiny stone resides along with an entry place for the otherworlds. A new theory suggests that Tara was the ancient capital of the lost kingdom of Atlantis. Coming across some Blackthorn trees also called the Witches ...
... before I head to the City Center and try and get cultured. But no wheezing about the grief of leaving; I'll recount the experiences of the past two days as best I can.
. . . Nope. Not coming to me. Trying to think of the a supremely clever way of describing my drive through the Irish countryside from Dublin to Ath Luain (that's the Irish for Athlone, a town in smack between the east, Dublin, and Galway in the west (in Gaelic, Gaillimh). Cannot, so insterad I'll just ...
... some of you are probably saying" Oh! Oh! A car". However, I will answer you that there's a huge difference between driving a car in Quebec and in Ireland. Indeed, the wheel is in the other way! That's why I felt " like a boss" when my Irish daddy asked me to move the car for him.
However, I still haven't driven a tractor. Jean-Philip told me " You must be an alpha male to drive ...
... signed a 9000 year lease entitling him to the mountain water that runs through this site in order to keep making the famous drink. However now only part of the actual brewery is still located here and the tourist bit is basically a seven story tourist centre in the shape of a massive pint glass. The tour was really interesting though. It was all self guided and you were given a map and lots of areas had TVs playing stuff on repeat. So level 1 was all about ...
... carrots with turnip. No greens again, and at least the equivalent of having 5 potatoes. There were many meals during our stay in Ireland where they served baked potato, mashed potato and chips all on the same plate.
Anyway, Blairs Inn was great, Linda had vege soup with the Irish brown bread and a side salad. Also helped Peter with some of his potatoes. The staff at the pub were really friendly and we watched the Poland vs Greece Euro 2012 soccer ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone
Beware of their systems and service!
First of all, we have stayed in other Radissons and were very happy with them. We stayed a night in the Radisson in Athlone and couldn't believe our experience.
-To buy a drink in the bar after 11.30pm, you must be the person who booked the room and if you don't book through a credit card, you have to give a deposit of around 60 Euros!
-Service in the dining room is appalling...kind of waiters who deliberately look up to avoid catching anyones eye!
-Because there were very few English speaking waiters in the dining room, communication problems led to many mistakes (you could see around the dining room all the mishaps and we were only there for 2 hours!)
-Bedrooms were very small and an upgrade only means you have a view.
-People on reception were somewhat inexperienced..when we were checking in, there were two off duty staff looking over our shoulders and chatting to the receptionist as we signed in!
In summary, the management of this hotel don't have a clue!
i have just finished a five day stay in this hotel,as i was involved in organising a conference ,
it went very well for us and i would like to say a big thank you to the following staff members,IRENE , ROBYAN ,CARMEN . and the young polish lad whos name fails me ,you were all fantastic and helped make our stay a 100% first class event .
the food ,rooms .and whole lay out were perfect.
we will be back (there was a 150 of us so it was no small task ),
my only critic would be could the bar staff smile a bit more...
cheers Des Mooney( pdforra,)
irish defence forces representative body,
Keep smiling, you are all doing a great job
My partner and I have offen stayed at RadissonSAS all over the world and we were really looking forward to this little treat, staying at your hotel. We had an absolutly fantastic weekend. Right from check in til it was time to go home. Not that we really wanted to leave, but something called work back home in the UK was calling us.
Everyone was most helpful and nothing we asked about or for was a problem. Everything was handled with a smile on their faces.
What I really liked was the way all the staff were having a great time together as a team, but also with us the guests.
The rooms were fab and the relaxing time in the bar and the restaurant was just what we were looking for.
The food was so tasty and everything was nice and warm and well presented. Couldn't have asked for more. Well done.
I am writing this review to thank all the members of staff, also the ones behind the scene, for a great weekend away. The best weekend away for a very long time.
Keep up the good work and the great attitude you all have, because it rubs of on your guests too.
We will be back for another superb weekend away.
Second time in 8 months and still love it
I stayed in the Radisson SAS in December last year and I didnt write a review but thought it was outstanding. The staff were very professional and the food and service was second to none. I staed in the radisson again MID August and having seen the reviews on this site in the last few months was worried it might have went down hill but I must say was not disappointed, The rooms are very well sized, modern crisp and clean, the hotel is in an excellent location and it has a lovely atmpshpere. I have no hesitation recommending this hotel.
Simply doesn't deliver
Having stayed at the new Radisson in Belfast a week earlier, and being very happy with it, we expected this hotel to be top notch too. We were very disappointed on many fronts.
First, the restaurant - the website makes great play of the fact that it is decorated in an water, fire, earth and air theme. Frankly, that seems irrelevant when your view through the huge windows is of the car park! Then there is the matter of the highly pretentious tableware. The dinner plate has a fine heritage - it is immensely practical and has evolved through at least a thousand years - yet I was served my lamb dish in a giant, high sided, irregular pudding bowl. It was even more awkward to eat from than eating a hot meal in airline economy class.
The picture on the Radisson web site is misleading - what you see it not only the hotel but also the residential development that is part of the same block. Only the section on the right is the hotel - the section at right angles on the left contains private apartments. Unfortunately, we stayed in room 319 - and its window was only a few feet from an apartment whose occupants arrived home at 1.30 am and didn't stop arguing, very loudly, until well after 3 am. Well, that shouldn't have been a problem, except that, as a previous reviewer pointed out, this extremely modern hotel has NO AIR CONDITIONING in the bedrooms! I really couldn't believe it! The outside temperature was not high - it had only been about 20C (that's only 68F) during the day, and had cooled down in the evening - but the room was still swelteringly hot. I dread to think what it would have been like if the daytime temperature had been anywhere near 30C! So, we had a great choice - boil and stay awake, or get comfortable and stay awake listening to the bickering couple hurling obscenities at each other. The room was also very pokey - less than half the size of the one we stayed in in Belfast (for a lower price), and the two huge armchairs squeezed into it made it difficult to get to the bed.
My advice is simple - stay somewhere else. This hotel is far below the standard that the Radisson brand normally delivers.
I have delayed writing this review as I was awaiting the outcome of a complaint I made following our stay at this establishment. It appears that the previous reviewer was allocated the room we occupied; our stay was on Saturday 25th June, and his description exactly matched our room. We eventually received a full refund.
Having read the earlier reviews and the other web data on the hotel, we were really looking forward to our stay, and the price we paid ensured we had high expectations that we would have an enjoyable time.
First view of the room was a big disappointment. It looked onto what appeared to be some sort of Plant facility, which effectively blocked any natural light. We noticed a problem with the shower fairly early on, but since we were only staying the one night we decided to make do.
Our air of nonchalance quickly evaporated when we visited the Bar. We had planned to eat here, have a couple of drinks and retire for the night. The service here, on a night which didn't appear too busy, was disorganised and bordered on rude. We decided to go elsewhere, and reported the shower problem at Reception on the way out.
It was evident on our return that that problem had not been fixed, and we called Reception for an update. They did offer another room at this point, but as it was 23:00, we declined. This turned out to be a big mistake, because when I used the shower the next day, the bathroom and the room proper flooded because the drain could not cope with the volume of water. We used up all our towels soaking up the water, therefore my Wife was unable to shower (and wasn't offered any alternative facility or clean towels). Whilst drying out the room, we noticed cigarette ends under the bed (neither of us smoke).
We spoke to the Duty Manager when we checked out, and he offered us a 20% refund, saying he was unable to authorise a full refund because we had booked through an agent (on the Internet)and we had been offered another room the previous night. We refused this and informed him we would be in touch over the next couple of days.
Further correspondence over the next week resulted in us being offered a free weekend at the Hotel (they had to kidding), or an upgrade if we stayed in the Glasgow Radisson. We stated only a full refund was acceptable. We hadn't heard anything until another week later, when I was called and told we had received the refund. I assume this may have coincided with the complaint from the other reviewer.
My overall impression of this Hotel is one, that because it looks impressive from outside, it is fine to offer a substandard product on the inside. The fact that the shower was still faulty when the new guests arrive is disgraceful. For us, it was a wholly unsatisfactory experience, I can't think of anything good to say about it (even the buffet breakfast was lukewarm). I left shaking with anger and my Wife was in tears.
Copy of a letter to the Manager
The Hotel Manager,
Radisson SAS Hotel,
I feel compelled to write to you about my experience in your hotel. Firstly, I would like to point out that I have stayed at many Radisson SAS hotels in both Ireland and Britain. In fact, St. Helens Radisson SAS hotel in Dublin is my favourite hotel and both my wife and I really love staying there!
I have been impressed by the service that I have received at all Radisson SAS hotels. Previously, I stayed at your hotel in Athlone in June 2004 and on that occasion I was extremely impressed with the modern clean room and the wonderful setting on the banks of the shannon river. I travel a lot and until now I have never felt the need to complain about the service that I have received in any hotel.
I arrived at your hotel on Monday 27th June, 2005, early (circa 11.30am) and apologised for my early arrival. I had a lot of work to do on my computer and I was delighted when the receptionist said that my room was ready. I went directly to my room. Initially I was surprised and disappointed when I noticed that there was no bath in the en-suite. I immediately contacted reception and they said that they could not change me to another room. I did not and still cannot understand how this was not possible since it was so early in the day.
After putting down the phone I noticed that there was a thin layer of dust on everything and the carpet was clearly not clean. There were peanuts and chocolate strewn around the floor. I went down to reception and reported the sorry state of the room and asked if it could be cleaned and dusted. The receptionist contacted the cleaning manager and the receptionist informed me that it was difficult for the manager to keep an eye on all ten cleaning staff. She assured me that someone would be up to clean the room thoroughly. I left the hotel and went for a walk so as to give the cleaning staff time to do their job.
I returned to the room over an hour later and found that somebody had attempted to clean the floor but there were still peanuts under the bed and no dusting appeared to have been done. At that stage I gave up and did not complain any further since I was only planning to stay in your hotel for one night. I decided to put up with a room that was not clean.
The room was wheelchair accessible and the en-suite was fully equipped for same with bars, ramps, flimsy shower curtain and very low sink. I would have appreciated being informed of this before I was given the room. Furthermore, I also noticed that there was an ashtray in the room and that there was an array of cigarette burns in the net curtains. I hate smoking and anything to do with it but yet again I was not informed that this was a smoking room.
My room was sweltering hot and I asked at reception if there was air conditioning. The receptionist smiled and asked if I was Irish - I am still unsure what that had to do with air conditioning. She advised me that I could open the window. I thanked her for her assistance and returned to my room. When I opened the window, the room quickly filled with the overpowering smell of oil/tar. I am unsure where it was coming from but it was an extremely hot day and it may have been from the flat roof just outside my window. As a result of the fumes, the window had to remain closed. This made for a very uncomfortable working environment in my room.
The desk lamp bulb did not work when I attempted to do some work at my desk and I was unable to get the broadband facility to work on my computer. I followed the instructions on my desk but unlike other hotels the broadband would simply not work for me.
Finally repair-men arrived during my stay to fix the shower, which a previous guest had complained about. They promised to return soon with the part needed to fix it. Over 3 hours later, they had not returned and my wife had arrived at the room after a long day of meetings. She was unable to have a shower and she contacted reception enquiring about the whereabouts of the repairmen and amazingly they were able to send a repairman to the room almost immediately and he fixed the shower.
Again I would like to repeat that I have never felt the need to complain about the service that I have received at any hotel. Many of the things that I am complaining about may appear trivial when taken individually but they combine to form a very poor impression of your hotel. In fact it is hard to believe that a four star hotel would provide such a shoddy service.
I will be contacting your Head Office to make them aware of my complaint.
We stayed in the radisson for a 3 night break recently. What can I say...It is a beautiful hotel ...all modern , crisp and bright. The food and service were excellent and the rooms are very spacious with wonderful views of the shannon.
Really loved it and cant wait to go back. Highly recommed it
Newest Hotel in Athlone
This is the newest and most likely nicest hotel in Athlone. Every comfort you would find in a 4 or 5 star hotel in Dublin or London. If you have the cash this is THE place to stay. Just remember its a lot higher priced than most other places in the midlands. I especially enjoyed the large open porch that opens onto the Shannon river. You can sit out there for lunch and catch the ocassional ray of sunshine and drink your coffee. Smokers will enjoy the heaters set out on each table.
Myself and my husband stayed at the Raddisson Hotel, Athlone last month. All I say is this is one of the nicest hotels we have ever stayed with. Everything was suberb ! The staff were so helpful and friendly. We were actually going to a wedding in Athlone and one of the waitress drew us a map of where the church was. So friendly and helpful. The reception also arranged an early check in for us and we needed to get changed.
Our room was an ocean view and was lovely overlooking the Shannon. The colour scheme was lovely and so clean...
Food was superb too, we had a lovely breakfast the next morning. So much to choose from.
We would definitely recommend This hotel to anyone.